This week I am going to be uploading a couple of posts addressing topics surrounding university. I have recently finished my first year and wanted to write about five things I have learnt or wish I had known before I started university. One thing I would add is that university is NOT everything and you will still have lots of opportunities if you choose to follow a different path, it is not to be a measurement of your entire life. Many people forget this, even myself, but if you go or not you are still intelligent and there is still a lot more to life than getting a degree. Despite saying this, here are a few things to keep in mind if you are already at uni or thinking about starting in September:
- People at home will not forget you: One thing I struggled with massively was homesickness, which I will address more in another post. It definitely eased as the academic year progressed. The main root cause, I think, was this fear that everyone was going to forget you and just move on. Honestly, this is not the case and you will still get to come home as regularly as you wish. If anything it will give you more to talk about and people will want to see how you are getting on.
- Stop comparing everything to home: This is a bit of an obvious one and probably linked to my homesickness. This mainly came into my mind when I compared uni friends to people at home, which you shouldn’t do because you’ve known people from school a lot longer and you didn’t have to live with them. Other things like the kitchen or bathrooms are an easy one to constantly compare to home because no ones parents are there to tidy up after them! Remember just because everything is different, it does not have to be worse than home.
- Little things are a success: Especially at the beginning of uni you will realise you are doing so many independent things, you will feel SO proud. This is definitely a positive that I have found at uni because I was much more dependent on my family before I started. Cooking dinners, washing up, dry cleaning and even just finding the lecture theatres will all feel so satisfying- at the start, the thrill does wear off!
- Don’t stress about having the ‘best years of your life’: I had heard a lot that my uni years would be the ‘making of me’ or were people’s ‘best years of their life’ BUT that is not always the case. Don’t get me wrong uni can be really fun, but usually you won’t realise that you are having the ‘best time’ until you look back on it. Social media makes everyone want to show they have no problems, but most of the time they are just papering over the cracks and no one wants to share the worse times. Don’t stress yourself out trying to show everyone that uni is ‘perfect’, looking back you’ll realise how great it really was.
I hope these pieces of advice have either been helpful or relatable in some way. These can still be applied to different situations because when changing environments it is important to be open-minded.